You can use this technique with any greens you are eating. First start with vegetables, all kinds and treat them differently, by shaving, or dicing this adds interest. Add crunch with nuts or seeds. Then make sure everything is lit up with an acid like lemon juice. Finally a dose of creaminess to top it off.
Little Gem Salad with Lemon Cream and Hazelnuts
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. blanched hazelnuts
4 small carrots, scrubbed
6 heads little gem lettuce
3 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice divided
1/2 c. mint leaves
1 1/2 oz. Parmesan shaved
1.Cream- Combine the garlic and cream in a small bowl. Season with salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Nuts- Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven. Toss occasionally until golden about 8-10 minutes.
3. Vegetables- slice the carrots in thin length wise strips.
4. Dressing- Strain the infused cream into a medium bowl and add the oil. Whip to very soft peaks. then whisk in 1T. lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
5. Bring it Home- Toss the carrots, lettuce, mint leaves, and half of the hazelnuts with the remaining 1 T. lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add a few dollops of lemon cream and gently toss to coat. Spoon remaining lemon cream onto a platter and mound the salad over. Top with cheese, remaining hazelnuts and some cracked pepper and sea salt.
Philosophy of Dressing the Salad- The idea is to layer the dressing components onto the salad in parts so no flavors get lost. Ditch the bowl and plate your salad on a platter.
Here is how to do it:
Step 1. Acid comes fist so the produce can absorb the flavor before being coated in oil. Douse each ingredient layer with citrus juice or vinegar.
Step 2. Then comes the fat: a few drops of oil or dollop of cream or soft cheese to our the acid. It's the savory icing on a leafy cake
Step 3. Toss gently so the flavors merge yet stay distinct. You should be able to taste both the acid and the fat separately.
Step 4. Season aggressively! Sprinkle salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes all the way through.
Enjoy your salad, it does make a difference!
Recipe from Bon Appetite